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House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environment.

Topics

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we had a vote in the House of Commons this year to extend the mission of our forces in Afghanistan until 2009.

I also mentioned that we intended to inform the House of Commons of our progress until 2009 and that we would consult the House again on the next steps.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the question was whether the Prime Minister had informed NATO of the possible decision by the House of Commons.

On his return, the Prime Minister proclaimed that the NATO summit had been a success. However, very few countries made a firm commitment to increase their presence in Afghanistan, as the Prime Minister had requested.

Under the circumstances, will the Prime Minister admit that it is very important that he inform NATO and the allied countries that Canadian troops could be withdrawn in February 2009?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, additional troops have been sent in by a number of countries, especially countries with which we are working in partnership in southern Afghanistan, such as Estonia, Romania, the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands.

Obviously, we are consulting constantly with our allies, and we intend to work together to achieve a successful outcome in Afghanistan.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister recently met with his NATO partners and, unfortunately, he did not push hard enough on the issue of finding some sort of balance between military interventions and humanitarian efforts.

How could the Prime Minister overlook this important aspect of the mission in Afghanistan, an aspect that would allow us to refocus Canada's interventions in Afghanistan?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, we had many discussions with our allies concerning reconstruction and humanitarian aid. Canada still intends to find ways to help the people of Afghanistan and to increase participation in all the programs to bring assistance to the population.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite his best intentions, does the Prime Minister not realize that if we do not quickly re-establish a balance between the humanitarian and military aspects of the mission, the situation could deteriorate considerably in the next few months?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question.

Our government still intends to find a way to ensure that our assistance is balanced, but at the same time, ground security is vital. Indeed, balance is definitely needed for this mission. The Canadian government recognizes that.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have learned to expect only one thing from ministers of the environment, whether they be current or former, and that is betrayal, because no matter which of them were in power, pollution continued to go up.

What has been the result of this? More droughts, more floods, more fires, more storms and more ice melting. The problem is getting more and more serious.

After all these years of inaction, will the Prime Minister finally get something done and do something the former government would not do and that is to cancel the subsidies to big oil and big ass--I mean big gas and start putting--

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am afraid the hon. member for Toronto—Danforth's time has expired. We will have a little order please.

The right hon. Prime Minister.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I promise to get to the bottom of it. I am really not sure whether I should take what the leader of the NDP said personally.

It was at the request of the leader of the NDP that the government agreed to put Bill C-30, the clean air act, before a parliamentary committee at second reading. Because we want to make concrete progress, we invite the constructive participation of all opposition parties. I would encourage the leader of the NDP to return to that constructive tone.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my apologies. I have no idea what was crossing my mind today. This House is in a strange place today. Let me attempt to pose the question again for the Prime Minister.

It is a serious matter. The former government maintained a policy of large subsidies to big oil and big gas companies even though they are making a massive profit and they would not put the funds that Canadians have earned and paid in taxes into green energy.

Will the Prime Minister correct that fundamental flaw?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, anything that relates to a Freudian slip is a serious matter but let me just say the following. I think the leader of the NDP knows that this government has not introduced any special subsidies for the oil or any other sector. In fact, recently we brought in a series of tax changes to rebalance our tax system and ensure tax fairness for all Canadians.

AfghanistanOral Questions

December 4th, 2006 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister went to Riga to persuade his NATO partners to send more troops to southern Afghanistan. He wanted to ensure that the troops already in the field will be able to help Canada under all circumstances. The Prime Minister failed.

When can Canada expect to have help from its NATO partners in southern Afghanistan?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister said, a number of countries have committed additional troops, particularly the Poles who have committed 1,000 extra troops. These troops will have no caveats. They will be able to be employed anywhere in the country.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians know that our NATO partners are not doing their fair share in southern Afghanistan and that Canadian soldiers are paying the price.

The Prime Minister left the meeting claiming victory but we do not know the number of additional troops committed and which countries will contribute. Basically he is telling our troops that if they are in trouble they must call 911 to get reinforcements. Our soldiers and Canadians need guarantees.

How can the Prime Minister be pleased with such a dismal failure?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, at the NATO meeting we learned that the ISAF commander, that is the NATO commander in Afghanistan, will have three battle groups in reserve, two American battle groups and the Polish battle group, and that should be sufficient to deal with any emergencies.

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the strategy of the government is clear. Whether it be on the environment, child care, foreign affairs, women, aboriginal peoples, literacy or health care, it is to set new targets, set them really low and then hit them decisively and call that leadership. That is not leadership.

On health care, it is to offer a wait times guarantee but provide no new money for it so the provinces must pick it up and other critical services are cut. This is a service reduction guarantee.

When will the government provide this essential new money to reduce--

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. the Minister of Health.

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, while the hon. member was busy doing some other things, he may not have learned that in the space of less than two weeks the government announced the first wait time guarantees in Canada. We are showing leadership. We are helping those who are most vulnerable in the aboriginal sector and first nations sector. We are leading by example, which is what people expect from this Government of Canada.

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the CMA has contradicted that. Cutting is not a vision. Cutting to do what? What Canada? So small, so pinched, so ungenerous and so divisive.

The MrMinister of Health and finance did the same in Ontario. They cut the money, cut the services, kept the rhetoric and hoped they would get to the next election before anyone could figure it out.

The Canadian Medical Association said it clearly, “No new money, no real guarantee”. When will the government listen to the CMA?

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member was elsewhere but last week the Canadian Medical Association gave this government an A for funding when it comes to health care. It did that because the Minister of Finance gave an extra $1.1 billion to the provinces, with an extra $5.5 billion going toward reducing wait times.

We are acting on the health of Canadians. We are showing leadership, which is a darn sight better than those on the other side did when they were in government.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Union des producteurs agricoles du Québec sent the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food an invitation to attend its convention being held this week in Quebec City. The Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec confirmed that this might be difficult since we are at the end of a session and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food had to stay here in the House.

My question is for the minister. Does he intend to attend the UPA convention, since the Bloc agreed to have its member for Richmond—Arthabaska, the agriculture and agri-food critic, accompany the minister and thereby preserve balance in this House? This would allow the minister to do his work and attend the UPA convention.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, we are trying to make arrangements to ensure I can be at the UPA convention. As part of my job, I have ongoing meetings with farmers from Quebec and elsewhere. It is always important to get out in the field. My hope is that my parliamentary duties here will not keep me away from that convention. I plan to go and I hope to go and, unless there is a vote or some other reason, I will be there.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, he should plan to go, he should hope to go and he should in fact go since Quebec's producers are having terrible difficulties with the federal programs, which currently do not correspond to the situation in Quebec.

When he goes to the UPA, because he should go, will the minister have concrete solutions for harmonizing the federal programs with those in Quebec in order to help the producers once and for all, and stop putting solutions off indefinitely?